Turkish gov’t detains 467 people in a week over Gülen links

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A total of 467 people have been detained in the past week as part of a crackdown targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement, according to a statement issued by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday.

The ministry on July 9 announced that 885 people had been detained in the past week over Gülen movement links.

A total of 15,190 people were detained over alleged links to the movement in the first half of the year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pursued a crackdown on the movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016.

Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the group following the abortive putsch.

The Turkish government on July 8 issued a decree-law firing 18,632 civil servants due to their alleged ties to “terrorist groups” and closing 12 associations, three newspapers and one TV station.

With the latest decree, the total number of civil servants dismissed after the 2016 coup attempt now exceeds 160,000.

According to a European Commission (EC) report on April 17, since the introduction of a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, over 150,000 people were taken into custody and 78,000 were arrested.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017 said 234,419 passports had been revoked as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since a failed coup.

On Nov. 16, 2017 Soylu had said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.

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